When senators give very, very long speeches to try to prevent a vote on a bill they do not want, this is an example of a filibuster.
- an adventurer who engages in unauthorized warfare against a country with which his own country is at peace; specif., any of the 19th-cent. U.S. adventurers who led armed expeditions into Latin American countries; freebooter
- the making of long speeches, introduction of irrelevant issues, etc. in order to obstruct the passage of a bill in the Senate
- a member of the Senate who uses such methodsalso fil′i·bus·terer
Origin of filibusterSpanish filibustero from French flibustier, earlier fribustier from Middle Dutch vrijbuiter, freebooter
- to engage in unauthorized warfare as a freebooter
- to engage in a filibuster
- a. The obstructing or delaying of legislative action, especially by prolonged speechmaking.b. An instance of this, especially a prolonged speech.
- An adventurer who engages in a private military action in a foreign country.
verbfil·i·bus·tered, fil·i·bus·ter·ing, fil·i·bus·ters
- To obstruct or delay legislative action, especially by making prolonged speeches.
- To take part in a private military action in a foreign country.
Origin of filibusterFrom Spanish filibustero freebooter from French flibustier from Dutch vrijbuiter pirate ; see freebooter .
- A freebooter, or mercenary soldier.
- 1890 These duties involved prodigious physical and mental exertion, in a climate deadly to Europeans. They also involved much voyaging in waters haunted by filibusters and buccaneers. But nothing appears to daunt Labat. As for the filibusters, he becomes their comrade and personal friend; – he even becomes their chaplain, and does not scruple to make excursions with them. — Lafcadio Hearn, Two Years in the French West Indies.
- (US, politics) A delaying tactic, especially the use of long, often irrelevant speeches given in order to delay progress or the making of a decision, especially on the floor of the US Senate.
- (US, politics) A member of a legislative body causing such obstruction.
(third-person singular simple present filibusters, present participle filibustering, simple past and past participle filibustered)